Six Tips for Creating News with Surveys

Six Tips for Creating News with Surveys

Our Axiom Insights and Communications teams collaborate often to create newsmaker surveys for news and social content that we can then leverage with many of our journalist contacts. Here are six tips for creating news with surveys.

It’s a cost-effective way to provide timely, pulse-point information on current events or business situations influencing our clients. Below are some tips for successful newsmaker surveys thanks to online market research tools like Typeform, Google Forms, Zoomerang, and CRM tools like Constant Contact.

  • Begin with the End in Mind. What type of data do you need? How do you plan to use it? Where will you use it? Why will it be of interest to journalists, bloggers and the public?
  • Think Differently. To make news, your survey results need to command attention. Often the best and most used newsmaker survey results go against the grain of conventional wisdom or how print, broadcast and even social media is covering an issue.
  • Aim Carefully. What type of respondents do you need to make the survey most interesting to journalists, bloggers and the public? Once you know this you can construct screening questions to ensure that you’re getting the right respondents.
  •  Sample Size. How many respondents do you actually need to be credible? How many respondents can your budget afford? Surprisingly, business to business (B2B) sample sizes can be smaller because the respondents are more homogeneous. Business to consumer (B2C) sample sizes need to be larger because these samples are more diverse. According to one source, the median size of a B2B survey is 377 vs. 1,032 for a B2C survey.
  •  Keep it Short and Sweet. Keep the KISS principal front and center when you’re creating surveys. Resist the impulse to ask too many questions. Well written questions will extract the information you need without overwhelming and fatiguing your respondents. Construct questions with the simplest, clearest wording possible. Minimize or eliminate open-ended questions. But remember, a well-worded subjective question can provide some excellent insight to your business. It’s a good idea to end a survey asking if the respondent has anything else they’d like to add.
  • Be Creative with Scales. Many market insights professionals use the Likert scale to understand importance. For example, rate X on a 1-4 scale (1=low, 4=high). It’s a good idea to use even numbers this process to avoid a dead center answer. A scale using 1-5 allows respondents to answer a neutral 3, which does little to define opinion.

For more information, please contact Mike Reiber at

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